Just before midnight, while most Malaysians were getting ready for bed, 44 students from Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Melaka and Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) gathered at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Kuala Lumpur, to prepare food for 500 of the less fortunate in the city.
The students had volunteered to host the inaugural “Jom Sahur!”, a weekly event organised by non-government organisation Institut Onn Ja’afar (IOJ), to provide food to Kuala Lumpur’s homeless and underprivileged.
“Jom Sahur! is an offshoot of our Jom Bekpes! breakfast soup kitchen campaign,” said IOJ chief executive officer Charles Mohan.
Mohan said Jom Bekpes! was the brainchild of IOJ patron Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, who is also Defence Minister.
The campaign has been adjusted to better serve the needy during Ramadan.
“Jom Sahur! is scheduled to take place from 1am to 2am on Wednesday during the fasting month.
“It is being held in three locations simultaneously; outside Yayasan Chow Kit’s KL Krash Pad on Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, on Jalan Hang Lekiu, and at Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s halfway house Pusat Transit Gelandangan.”
He said that the three locations were picked as they were known to be places where the homeless often gather with 300 packs being distributed outside KL Krash Pad while another 100 packs would be given out at each of the other two locations.
IOJ has prepared sandwiches and fried rice, while Cotra Enterprise Sdn Bhd donated 504 packets of its 250ml Marigold UHT 100% Apple Juice to be distributed at the first Jom Sahur! session.
Around 100 apples were also provided by the Lost Food Project which collects surplus food from supermarkets.
Meanwhile, CIMB Malaysia has provided IOJ with a van which was used for the first time to bus volunteers to the other Jom Sahur! locations.
Other universities that are involved in providing volunteers for upcoming Jom Sahur! sessions are Universiti Selangor, Twintech International University College, Help University, Universiti Tun Abdul Razak and Management and Science University.
Aside from the universities, non-government organisations (NGOs) such as Isi Perut and Media Prima celebrities will also be taking part in Jom Sahur!
Mohon urged those interested in volunteering or sponsoring to check out IOJ’s social media pages and website.